Hoofregter Mogoeng Mogoeng Foto: Jabu Kumalo
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the 2019 general election marked a turning point in South Africa's history, adding that the country needs a Parliament and a provincial legislature that holds the executive accountable.
Mogoeng was handed a list of 830 elective representatives at the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), the list of 400 elected MPs and 430 elected MPLs was drawn from national, provincial and regional candidates list submitted by political parties.
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Speaking at the handover event, the Chief Justice appealed to those who will be taking their oath of office next week to never forget the job they have undertaken to do.
He also reminded them that there were still injustices yet to be eliminated.
"We need the executive at all levels to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities. We need institutions designed to strengthen our constitutional democracy that are neither threatened by the executive, Parliament or anybody," he said.
He said particular attention needs to be given to institutions whose levels of efficiency and independence has come into question.
"Are they properly resourced? Do you have competent people occupying positions of high responsibility? Is there subtle interference? It is important."
'If there is one thing that we must be alive to is that power is dangerous'
He urged South Africans to be vigilant and to expose any manipulation of functionaries in state institutions.
"If there is one thing that we must be alive to is that power is dangerous.
"Once you have it, it pushes you to the point where you want to control everybody as you please," he said.
He said the country would never have been where it is now, had "everybody been doing what they take an oath to do".
"The challenge to all of us is to stop cow-towing to corrupt leadership.
"Let us not betray our people. Let us not dishonour and betray those who die, those who suffered," said Chief Justice Mogoeng.
In a statement released shortly after the handover, the IEC said the oldest member of Parliament will be IFP leader Mangosothu Buthelezi, 90, with the youngest the DA's 23-year-old Sibongiseni Ngcobo.
The youngest member of a provincial legislature will be 21-year-old Karabo Khakhu, who will represent the DA in the Free State legislature.
Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.